THE RISE OF WOMEN'S SPORTS - IDENTIFYING AND MAXIMIZING THE OPPORTUNITY - Nielsen

 
THE RISE OF WOMEN'S SPORTS - IDENTIFYING AND MAXIMIZING THE OPPORTUNITY - Nielsen
Manchester City Womens’ Georgia Stanway (left) and Lyon’s Amandine Henry during the UEFA
Women’s Champions League, Manchester. (Photo by Dave Thompson/PA Images via Getty Images)

   NIELSEN SPORTS

THE RISE OF
WOMEN’S            SPORTS
IDENTIFYING AND MAXIMIZING
THE OPPORTUNITY
THE RISE OF WOMEN'S SPORTS - IDENTIFYING AND MAXIMIZING THE OPPORTUNITY - Nielsen
2
THE RISE OF WOMEN'S SPORTS - IDENTIFYING AND MAXIMIZING THE OPPORTUNITY - Nielsen
CONTENTS
                             WHO’S ENGAGING WITH WOMEN’S SPORTS?                                                 5

                             SPORTS FANS’ INTEREST LEVELS IN WOMEN’S SPORTS                                      7

                             THE POTENTIAL FAN BASE                                                              8

                             CONSUMING WOMEN’S SPORTS                                                            9

                             THE APPETITE FOR WOMEN’S SPORTS CONTENT                                            12

                             THE POWER OF FEMALE ATHLETES                                                       14

                             INTEREST IN SPECIFIC WOMEN’S SPORTS EVENTS                                         19

                             CHANGING PERCEPTIONS OF MEN’S AND WOMEN’S SPORT                                    22

                             WORLD SURF LEAGUE: RIDING THE CREST OF A WAVE                                      25

                             THE BIGGER PICTURE                                                                 29

                             This report is built around research conducted by Nielsen Sports across eight of
                             the most commercially active sports markets – the U.S., U.K., France, Germany,
                             Italy, Spain, Australia and New Zealand (n=1000 per country) – as well as
                             perspectives gleaned by Leaders during its XX Series think tanks, designed to
                             encourage the continued growth of women's sport this year. It is an unparalleled
                             deep-dive into who’s engaging with women’s sports, how they’re watching and
                             their attitudes toward sponsors who associate themselves with women’s sports.

Copyright © 2018 The Nielsen Company (US), LLC. Confidential and proprietary. Do not distribute.
                                                                                                                     3
THE RISE OF WOMEN'S SPORTS - IDENTIFYING AND MAXIMIZING THE OPPORTUNITY - Nielsen
INTRODUCTION
                               WOMEN IN SPORTS
                               The rate of change in women’s sports is one of the most exciting trends in the sports
            Lynsey Douglas     industry right now. For rights holders, brands and the media, this represents a chance
            Global Lead,       to develop a new commercial proposition and engage fans in a different way.
            Women’s Sports
            Nielsen Sports     Tennis and golf have led the way in the professionalization and commercialization
                               of women’s sports, but more recently it it has been soccer achieving significant mile-
                               stones. There is an increasing number professional leagues around the world, and
                               the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 attracted a TV audience of 150 million. In May we saw
                               a new world record attendance for a women’s club soccer game, when 51,211 at-
                               tended the finale of the 16-team Liga MX Femenil. In England, 1.6 million watched the
                               Women’s FA Cup final clash between Chelsea and Arsenal, with 43,423 spectators in
                               the stadium. Building on this momentum, next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup is set
                               to engage on a large scale and represents a great platform for brands to stand out.

                               In other sports, trek cycling is the latest organization to commit to running a profes-
                               sional women’s road team, and in Australia women’s leagues such as the Rebel Wom-
                               en’s Big Bash and the Women’s Australian Rules Football league, known as AFLW, are
                               attracting large audiences, stand-alone sponsorships and broadcast revenue. Indi-
                               vidual female athletes becoming stars is nothing new, and we see this especially in
                               the U.S., where the likes of Serena Williams, Simone Biles, Ronda Rousey and Lindsey
                               Vonn are not only household names around the globe, they are pushing boundaries
         “MAKING SENSE OF AN   and paving the way for generations to come.

       EXCITING AND GROWING    This building commercial momentum is resulting in groundbreaking equal pay agree-
             MARKETPLACE IS    ments. In Norway and New Zealand, women’s national team footballers now earn
                               the same as their male counterparts, while Rugby Australia announced it will pay
    FUNDAMENTAL FOR RIGHTS     its men’s and women’s sevens teams equally for the first time. Furthermore, these
                               athletes feel they are privileged to compete in the sport they love as a career and
        HOLDERS, BRANDS AND    genuinely want to inspire, and make a difference for, the next generation.
        OTHER STAKEHOLDERS
                               Making sense of an exciting and growing marketplace is fundamental for rights hold-
    CURRENTLY OPERATING IN –   ers, brands and other stakeholders currently operating in – or looking to enter – the
                               space. We believe there has previously been a lack of data around women’s sports,
OR LOOKING TO ENTER – THE      so I’m excited to share these insights as a starting point to forming a detailed under-
     WOMEN’S SPORTS SPACE.”    standing of the women’s sports commercial landscape.

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WHO’S ENGAGING WITH
                               WOMEN’S SPORTS?
                                A fundamental part of maximizing the commercial opportunity
                                around women’s sports is developing a detailed understanding of
                                who’s engaging with events, teams and leagues – and how. Across
                                the eight markets*, 84% of general sports fans have an interest in
                                women’s sports (they stated they had an interest in both male and
                                female sports, or just in women’s sports). Of those, 51% are male,
                                which confirms both that women are also interested in watching
                                women’s sports and that women’s sports represents a major
                                opportunity to engage male fans debunking the perception that
                                only women are interested in women’s sports and confirming that
                                women’s sports represents a major opportunity to engage male fans.

                                                                                       84%                     49% female

                                  66%                                                                     versus

                                  of the population
                                  interested in at least
                                  one women’s sport
                                                                                   of general sports
                                                                                   fans are interested
                                                                                   in women’s sports
                                                                                                               51% male

                                  *
                                   U.S., U.K., France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia and New Zealand

                                  Source: Nielsen Sports Women’s Sports research 2018

Copyright © 2018 The Nielsen Company (US), LLC. Confidential and proprietary. Do not distribute.
                                                                                                                            5
2018 US Open Tennis Tournament- Serena Williams of the United States in action against Anastasija Sevastova of
6   Latvia in the Women's Singles Semi Final match.(Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
SPORTS FANS’ INTEREST
            LEVELS IN WOMEN’S SPORTS
            Interest levels in the women’s versions of specific sports among fans of those sports tend to
            be greater when men’s and women’s events are staged together often. Track and field events,
            from the Olympic Games to the Diamond League, have historically been mixed gender affairs,
            while in men’s and women’s tennis tournaments are held simultaneously at the four Grand
            Slams and several other top-tier events each season. In mixed martial arts, UFC cards include
            both men’s and women’s fights.

            INTEREST LEVELS IN SPORTS WHERE MEN’S AND WOMEN’S EVENTS
            ARE STAGED TOGETHER OFTEN

                  89%                            86%                          81%                    79%              69%
            ATHLETICS                          TENNIS                     TRIATHLON                   MIXED          EXTREME/
          TRACK & FIELD                                                                            MARTIAL ARTS    ACTION SPORTS

            INTEREST LEVELS IN SPORTS WHERE MEN’S AND WOMEN’S EVENTS
            ARE STAGED SEPARATELY OFTEN

            61%                      52%                          51%                        43%          43%          42%
             GOLF                   CRICKET                   CYCLING                  BASKETBALL       FOOTBALL    RUGBY UNION

            Source: Nielsen Sports Women’s Sports research 2018

Copyright © 2018 The Nielsen Company (US), LLC. Confidential and proprietary. Do not distribute.
                                                                                                                                   7
WOMEN’S SPORTS –
    THE POTENTIAL FAN BASE
    While interest in women’s football (soccer) stands at 43%, which is lower than several other sports,
    that still equates to a potential fanbase of 105 million across the eight markets surveyed – a huge
    group of men and women that rights holders, brands and broadcasters can market to, as they
    look to further develop and commercialize their sports.

      Football (Soccer)                                                                        105M
    Mixed Martial Arts                                                                   94M
       Extreme Sports                                                              79M
             Basketball                                                          72M
                    Golf                                            52M
                 Cricket                                     46M

                           Source: Nielsen Sports Women’s Sports research 2018

      AUSTRALIA:
      WBBL AND AFLW LEADING THE WAY
      Interest in women’s leagues and sports tends to be higher when there has been
      investment and free-to-air broadcasting strategy has been developed and executed.

      Launched in 2015, the WBBL, a Twenty20 competition, has proved a remarkable success,
      attracting an early free-to-air partner in Network Ten and title sponsorship from sports retailer
      Rebel. In December last year, Rebel renewed its deal for a further three years while in April,
      Nine acquired the rights to broadcast 22 WBBL games per season for the next six years.
      Australian interest in women’s cricket now stands at 43%.

      In Australian rules, meanwhile, the eight-team AFLW staged its inaugural season in 2017. Games in
      that first season were largely free to attend, while the broadcast strategy revolved around coverage
      in local markets on the Seven network – mainly the free-to-air digital service 7mate – with further
      national coverage provided by Fox. 41% of Australians are interested in women’s Aussie rules.

      By contrast, in the United States, interest in football stands at 15% – no surprise, given that the NFL
      has no plans to develop a women’s league.

8
CONSUMING WOMEN’S SPORTS
   A changing and challenging media landscape, with new forms of distribution
   emerging and new ways of monetizing content taking shape, provides a chance for
   organizers of women’s sports events and tournaments to reach new fans. At a time                  UK TV AUDIENCES
   of direct-to-consumer and OTT, however, the power of significant free-to-air coverage                 FOR LIVE
   remains strong, particularly for sports looking to raise profile and build a fanbase.
   As the Olympic Games prove time after time, the injection of interest provided by
                                                                                                     WOMEN’S SPORTS
   exposure to a large audience can be vital for sports looking to emerge and grow –
   in the United Kingdom, the BBC’s primetime live coverage of the British women’s
   field hockey team’s gold medal-winning performance in 2016 has been the catalyst                        5.5 M
   for a significant upturn in interest, profile and commercial returns for the sport.                     RIO 2016
                                                                                                         HOCKEY FINAL
   England netball’s surprise gold medal at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year,
                                                                                                         BBC – free-to-air
   also broadcast live from Australia by the BBC, may prove to have a similar impact on
   that sport in the coming years. Even on pay television, there is evidence that women’s

                                                                                                          2.7 M
   sports is breaking through: the final of the 2017 Cricket World Cup, when England
   beat India at Lord’s, was the most-watched live cricket event broadcast that year by
   Sky Sports, which also holds the rights to all England men’s team games.
                                                                                                        2017 EUROPEAN
                                                                                                   FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
                                                                                                       SEMI-FINAL 2017
                                                                                                      Channel 4 – free-to-air

        NIELSEN SPORTS IS WORKING WITH A UK-BASED ORGANIZATION, WOMEN IN
        SPORT, ON UNDERSTANDING MORE ABOUT THE MEDIA COVERAGE OF WOMEN’S                                  1.6 M
        SPORTS. "IT'S FANTASTIC TO SEE SO MUCH CHANGE AND GROWTH IN WOMEN'S                            WOMEN’S FA CUP
                                                                                                         FINAL 2018
        SPORT OVER RECENT YEARS,” SAID CHIEF EXECUTIVE RUTH HOLDAWAY. “HOWEV-                            BBC – free-to-air

        ER, WE KNOW THAT MEDIA COVERAGE OF WOMEN'S SPORTS STILL HAS A WAY TO
        GO TO MATCH THE LEVEL OF MEN’S COVERAGE AND TO HELP MAKE SPORTS AN
        EVERYDAY PART OF WOMEN’S AND GIRLS’ LIVES. OUR GOAL IS TO UNDERSTAND
                                                                                                         0.5 M
                                                                                                       2017 WOMEN’S
        MORE ABOUT HOW TO NORMALIZE SPORTS FOR EVERY WOMAN AND GIRL IN THE                            CRICKET WORLD
                                                                                                         CUP FINAL
        UK. RIGHTS HOLDERS, SPONSORS AND THE MEDIA ALL HAVE AN IMPORTANT ROLE                         Sky Sports – pay TV

        TO PLAY IN CREATING THE PLATFORMS FOR WOMEN'S SPORTS TO THRIVE.                               *Average broadcast
                                                                                                      audiences of live programs

                                                                                                      Source: Nielsen Sports
                                                                                                      Audience Data

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                                                                                                                                   9
Women’s Hockey Gold medal match between The Netherlands and Great Britain, 2016 Olympic Games,
     Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo by Bob Thomas/Popperfoto/Getty Images

10
LEADERS INSIGHT

                            A BROADCASTER’S PERSPECTIVE
                            FROM THE BBC
                            “London 2012 was such a catalyst for us,” Stuart Rowson, formerly BBC Sport’s Young
                             Audiences Editor, told Leaders at an XX Series Think Tank on women’s sports.

                                 “IF YOU’RE LOOKING AT ONE SYMBOLIC MOMENT, IT WAS IN RIO [2016] AND THE HOCKEY
                                 GOLD MEDAL MATCH. THE 10 O’CLOCK NEWS WAITS FOR A WOMEN’S HOCKEY MATCH TO
                                 FINISH – I CAN’T IMAGINE THAT BEFORE LONDON 2012, A MOMENT LIKE THAT, ALBEIT A
                                 BIG TEAM GB MOMENT, WOULD HAVE STOPPED BBC ONE IN ITS TRACKS.”

                            Rowson, who is now Head of Discovery for BBC Children’s, added: “We don’t have a
                            specific mandate [for women’s sports] other than: BBC Sport is for everyone. Everyone
                            pays the license fee, and that means we need to provide something that women watch
                            and men watch as well. Driving participation is a big part of what we’re about as well.
                            When it comes to women’s sports, a key aim for us is how we normalize it – how do we
                            get to the stage where we’re not talking about women’s sports and men’s sports, we’re
                            just talking about the best sport? That feels like the real goal.”

Copyright © 2018 The Nielsen Company (US), LLC. Confidential and proprietary. Do not distribute.
                                                                                                                      11
THE APPETITE FOR
     WOMEN’S SPORTS CONTENT
     45% of the general population across the eight markets* would consider
     attending live women’s sports events, while 46% say they would watch more
     if more women’s sports was accessible on free TV. Underlining the potential
     opportunity women’s sports represents yet further, of those who said they
     had no interest in women’s sports 38% said they hadn’t watched but “could
     be interested,” revealing an untapped market for rights holders and other
     stakeholders to try and engage the currently unengaged.

            45%
            63%
            CONSIDER
       ATTENDING LIVE                                                   46%
                                                                        61%
                                                       WATCH MORE IF IT WAS
                                                       ACCESSIBLE ON FREE TV

                              39%
                              42%
            WATCH MORE IF IT WAS
       ACCESSIBLE FOR FREE ONLINE                                               WOMEN’S SPORTS

                                                                                MEN’S SPORTS

       * U.S., U.K., France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia and New Zealand

       Source: Nielsen Sports Women’s Sports research 2018

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While for many women’s sports, looking to achieve cut-through in a cluttered marketplace of sports
                   and entertainment options, reaching as big an audience as possible is currently more of a priority
                   than generating revenue through broadcast rights, there is clearly a market for subscription
                   streaming. In France, for example, 28% are interested in streaming women’s sports events, and
                   of those 81% would be willing to pay up to 10 euros to do so.

                   At the top level, global rights holders such as the WTA and UFC have successfully developed
                   multi-platform broadcast strategies that involve an owned platform – WTA TV has been developed
                   over several years in partnership with Perform, while UFC Fight Pass was launched as long ago as
                   2014. As OTT becomes more viable, expect more partnerships to be struck between women’s sports
                   rights holders and OTT platforms, and more rights holders opting to invest in their own services.

                    INTEREST IN ONLINE STREAMING
                    GENERAL INTEREST IN STREAMING WOMEN’S SPORTS                                   % OF THOSE INTERESTED, WHO WOULD PAY

                     UK			                               38%				                                   Up to £10 		             74%

                     USA			27%				Up to $10		66%

                     Australia		 21%				UP to AUS$20		77%

                     France			28%				                                                              Up to 10 EUR		           81%

                     Germany		 25%				                                                             Up to 10 EUR		           73%

                     Italy			45%				                                                               Up to 10 EUR		           78%

                     New Zealand		                       18%				Up to NZ$20		86%

                     Spain			33%				                                                               Up to 10 EUR		           80%

                    Source: Nielsen Sports Women’s Sports research 2018

Copyright © 2018 The Nielsen Company (US), LLC. Confidential and proprietary. Do not distribute.
                                                                                                                                          13
THE POWER OF FEMALE ATHLETES
     As the likes of Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Simone Biles, Li Na and Ronda Rousey have shown
     over the past decade, star power is a huge draw for fans, media and sponsors. The marketability of
     individual athletes, male or female, is a tried and tested way for sports to promote themselves.

     In terms of team sports, there are on average four male team athletes in the top 10 across the eight
     markets. The commercial success enjoyed by the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Lionel Messi
     and LeBron James provides a blueprint for female team athletes to emulate.

     MOST RECOGNIZABLE FEMALE ATHLETES
                      1. Serena Williams      		        Tennis      		            72%
                      2. Jessica Ennis-Hill   		        Athletics   		            69%
          UK          3. Laura Kenny          		        Cycling     		            40%

                      1. Serena Williams      		        Tennis        		          86%
                      2. Danica Patrick       		        Motorsport 		             65%
         USA          3. Ronda Rousey         		        MMA          		           60%

                      1. Serena Williams      		        Tennis       		           80%
                      2. Sally Pearson        		        Athletics    		           54%
      AUSTRALIA       3. Sam Stosur           		        Tennis       		           53%

                      1. Serena Williams       		       Tennis      		            83%
                      2. Kristina Mladenovic 		         Tennis      		            41%
       FRANCE         3. Caroline Garcia       		       Tennis      		            40%

                      1. Angelique Kerber     		        Tennis       		           55%
                      2. Serena Williams      		        Tennis       		           51%
      GERMANY         3. Laura Dahlmeier      		        Biathlon     		           44%

                      1. Federica Pellegrini 		         Swimming 		               90%
                      2. Carolina Kostner     		        Figure skating 		         84%
        ITALY         3. Tania Cagnotto       		        Diving       		           84%

                      1. Serena Williams       		       Tennis       		           79%
                      2. Valerie Adams         		       Athletics    		           77%
     NEW ZEALAND      3. Lydia Ko             		        Golf         		           71%

                      1. Mireia Belmonte      		        Swimming 		               71%
                      2. Serena Williams      		        Tennis         		         63%

        SPAIN         3. Garbiñe Muguruza 		            Tennis       		           63%

14
MOST RECOGNIZABLE FEMALE TEAM SPORT ATHLETES
                                                   1. Steph Houghton                 		            Football     		     22%
                                                   2. Heather Knight                 		            Cricket      		     18%
                                  UK               3. Anya Shrubsole                 		            Cricket      		     15%

                                                   1. Hope Solo                     		             Football (soccer)   38%
                                                   2. Alex Morgan                    		            Football (soccer)   26%
                                  US               3. Brittney Griner                		            Basketball   		     25%

                                                   1. Ellyse Perry                   		            Cricket      		     27%
                                                   2. Samantha Kerr                   		           Football     		     26%
                           AUSTRALIA               3. Liz Cambage                    		            Basketball   		     24%

                                                   1. Eugenie Le Sommer 		                         Football     		     36%
                                                   2. Wendie Renard                   		           Football     		     34%
                              FRANCE               3. Laure Boulleau                   		          Football     		     29%

                                                   1. Alexandra Popp                  		           Football     		     29%
                                                   2. Dzsenifer Marozsan 		                        Football     		     26%
                            GERMANY                3. Melanie Leupolz                		            Football     		     25%

                                                   1. Regina Baresi                   		           Football     		     27%
                                                   2. Samantha Kerr                   		           Football     		     23%
                                ITALY              3.          -

                                                   1. Maria Tuta'ia Folau 		                       Netball      		     47%
                                                   2. Portia Woodman                 		            Rugby Union 		      30%
                         NEW ZEALAND               3. Katrina Grant                   		           Netball      		     24%

                                                   1. Amaya Valdemoro                 		           Netball      		     47%
                                                   2. Veronica Boquete                		           Football     		     27%

                               SPAIN               3. Laia Palau                      		           Basketball   		     24%

                Source: Nielsen Sports Women’s Sports research 2018

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                                                                                                                             15
Alexa Bliss (L) and Bayley battle in the ring during the WWE
   show at Zenith Arena on may 09, 2017 in Lille, France.
16 Photo credit :PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
LEADERS INSIGHT

                         WWE:
                         TURNING DIVAS INTO SUPERSTARS
                         “We’ve realized that women are a key part of our sport; they’re elite athletes in their own
                         right and add a different dimension and as much talent and enjoyment at our live events,”
                         Tracey Keenan, Vice President and General Manager at WWE UK and Ireland tells Leaders.
                         “We wanted to do more to help them gain credibility in that role, but also to move higher
                         and higher up the matchcard. We’ve seen elite women’s sports become an elite force to be
                         reckoned with, and we wanted to be a part of that – and our fans were telling us they
                         wanted us to do that for them.

                                “THERE WAS A TURNING POINT FOR US WHEN OUR TOP FEMALE TALENT ENTERED THE RING
                                FOR A MATCH AND THE MATCH LASTED LESS THAN A MINUTE. OUR FANS REALLY DIDN’T
                                LIKE IT – AND THEY TOLD US SO. THEY USED SOCIAL MEDIA TO SAY #GIVEDIVASACHANCE.
                                IN 2015, THEY USED THAT TO TAKE THE WOMEN’S DIVISION TO THE NEXT LEVEL.”

                         “The first one [Divas Revolution milestone moment] was WrestleMania, 2016 when Lita
                         unveiled the Women’s Championship – the women were put on a level with the men from
                         that point; they were superstars, they were no longer Divas. We saw that manifest itself in
                         the first pay-per-view that had a women’s match as the main event.

                         “In October we are presenting our first women-only pay-per-view, WWE Revolution. We know
                         that our fans love our women athletes and performers so much. It will be phenomenal. We
                         would expect it to perform as most of our pay per views do – a very, very strong showing. It
                         needs to establish itself, but we have every reason to believe we will quickly get to a point
                         where this becomes one of our landmark events of the year.”

Copyright © 2018 The Nielsen Company (US), LLC. Confidential and proprietary. Do not distribute.
                                                                                                                         17
LEADERS INSIGHT

     PROFILE VERSUS REVENUE FOR
     FEMALE ATHLETES
     “When brands target a male player they are the one and only target for a number of reasons,” Matthew Buck,
     Director of Player Management at the Professional Footballers Association (PFA), the union for all Premier
     League, Football League and Women’s Super League players, told Leaders. “They see them being the perfect
     fit for a campaign, they’ve got a budget to go out and sign the player and if the player expectation level is
     beyond that budget they will tend to adapt and work toward that, whereas still, unfortunately, we’re finding
     in the female game that if you do challenge the commercial contract the tendency will be ‘well, we’ll go to the
     next option, player B or player C’ – they might do it for less, they might be more accessible, they might give
     up more of their time. The target or profile is maybe a player in general rather than a specific player for
     a specific campaign.”

        AMONG BUCK’S CHARGES IS ENGLAND AND MANCHESTER CITY PLAYER STEPH HOUGHTON, THE MOST
        RECOGNIZABLE FEMALE TEAM SPORT ATHLETE IN THE UK. “THE ONE THING I REALIZED EARLY WITH STEPH
        WAS SHE WAS TOO ACCESSIBLE. SHE WAS SAYING YES TO EVERYTHING, WHICH HAD A NEGATIVE IMPACT
        ON HER TIME, HER TRAINING SCHEDULE AND ALSO PROBABLY OVER-EXPOSED HER.”
     “We started working on that: Very often you’re saying no more than you’re saying yes. It’s being less accessible,
     but when you are accessible delivering important messages and the right messages. Whilst her off-the-field
     revenue is outstripping her on-field revenue, her on-field revenue has increased dramatically at the same
     time. That’s due to the growth of the game. Opportunity and sustainability are the most important things.
     She still has that responsibility to the game, to the next generation, and we feel maximizing the commercial
     opportunities and creating the profile will benefit her individually but hopefully make it aspirational for the
     next players coming through. A lot of the players I work with, not just Steph, do feel a collective responsibili-
     ty to grow the game, to set examples but hopefully also break through a lot of the barriers with brands and
     commercial partners.”

                                                                        Steph Houghton at the FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup Final
                                                                        match between Arsenal against Manchester City Women
                                                                        (Photo by Kieran Galvin/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
18
INTEREST IN SPECIFIC WOMEN’S SPORTS EVENTS
                        Women’s sports events represent a significant opportunity to engage potential fans, and
                        some of the biggest women’s events do have high awareness.

                        Of those aware of it, a year out from the next edition, to be held in France, the Women’s
                        World Cup has 34% interest (that compares to 45% interest in the men’s version, which
                        has just taken place). With over a fifth of the population interested in the women’s event
                        so far ahead of time, with promotional campaigns still to get underway, there’s a clear
                        chance to engage potential fans in the lead-up to and during the tournament.

                          EVENT/SPORT						                                                                   % AWARENESS

                          Olympic Winter Games 					Mixed		90%

                          Olympic Summer Games 					Mixed		88%

                          Paralympics 						Mixed		85%

                          IAAF World Championships (Athletics) 			                                 Mixed		        51%

                          Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 			                                 Mixed		        43%

                          FIFA World Cup (Football) 					                                          Male		         84%

                          FIFA Women’s World Cup (Football) 			                                    Female		       63%

                          UEFA Champions League 					Male		69%

                          UEFA Women’s Champions League			                                         Female		       48%

                          ATP Tour (Tennis) 					Male		52%

                          WTA Tour (Tennis) 					Female		49%

                          PGA European Tour (Golf) 				                                            Male		         44%

                          Ladies European Tour (Golf)				                                          Female		       29%

                          Rugby World Cup 					Male		64%

                          Women’s Rugby World Cup 				                                             Women		        42%

                          Tour de France (Cycling) 					                                           Male		         83%

                          NFL (American Football) 					Male		63%

                          US PGA Tour (Golf) 					                                                 Male		         46%

                        Source: Nielsen Sports Women’s Sports research 2018

Copyright © 2018 The Nielsen Company (US), LLC. Confidential and proprietary. Do not distribute.
                                                                                                                            19
Georgia Hall of England plays the final round
of the Ricoh Women's British Open
Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images

20
LEADERS INSIGHT

          RICOH AND THE WOMEN’S BRITISH OPEN
          Ricoh has sponsored the annual Women’s British Open for the past 12 years, its partnership culminating in
          2018 with a victory for the company’s brand ambassador Georgia Hall in July. “It’s been a really interesting
          journey,” Ricoh Europe’s Head of Brand Bart Somsen tells Leaders at August’s XX Series think tank. “When
          we partnered with the event there was an ambition from the rights holder to make the event a much more
          global asset. The timing and the project were right for Ricoh; it is a global asset for us. It’s been a very
          successful journey. We feel that the platform has exceeded our expectations in terms of what we wanted
          and set out to achieve 12 years ago.”

                “ONE OF THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVES WAS TO BUILD OUR BRAND – WE HAD BEEN THROUGH A NUMBER
                OF ACQUISITIONS. THE [SPONSORSHIP] PLATFORM HAS GREATLY HELPED US TO INVEST OUR BRAND
                EQUITY INTO A SINGLE BRAND, IN CORE MARKETS WHERE WOMEN’S GOLF IS HUGE. WE’VE USED THE
                BRITISH RICOH WOMEN’S OPEN VERY EXTENSIVELY TO ENGAGE WITH OUR GLOBAL C-SUITE AUDIENCE.
                IT’S THE RIGHT TIME TO FINISH ON A HIGH – RECORD AUDIENCES, A HOME-GROWN PLAYER FROM THE
                UK WHO IS A BRAND AMBASSADOR WINNING; YOU NEED TO FINISH A PARTY WHEN IT’S IN FULL SWING
                AND I THINK WE’VE DONE THAT.”

          “Certainly, for some smaller sports there is an opportunity for the rights holder to be much more flexible in
          the product they are selling to the market. Some of the bigger sports, the way commercial rights are being
          sold to brands is quite stringent and not always as flexible. What does the partner really want to achieve
          out of a partnership? How can we work and develop activation models, engagement models with the fans?
          That’s where the real opportunity is for women’s sports, especially for smaller sports who are maybe
          struggling to get the media attention – mainstream and online.”

            A FIFTH OF THE POPULATION is                            THREE QUARTERS of those interested in   63% OF PEOPLE believe brands
            more influenced by sponsors of                          women’s sports can name at least one    should invest in both women’s
            women’s sports than of men’s.                           brand involved in women’s sports.       and men’s sports.

            Source: Nielsen Sports Women’s Sports research 2018

Copyright © 2018 The Nielsen Company (US), LLC. Confidential and proprietary. Do not distribute.
                                                                                                                                      21
CHANGING PERCEPTIONS OF MEN’S
     AND WOMEN’S SPORTS
     46% of people across the eight markets regard women’s sports as competitive, while 35% say it is
     skilled and 32% view it as being of high quality.

     Women’s sports are seen as more progressive, less money-driven, more family-oriented and
     cleaner than men’s sports. Women also see women’s sports as a lot more inspiring than men do.
     This information helps build a picture for brands evaluating their sponsorship portfolio and
     determining what their future strategy might look like.

     SENTIMENTS SURROUNDING WOMEN’S SPORTS

     SKILLED                                               HIGH QUALITY                    COMPETITIVE
     Women’s sports/athletes              35%              Women’s sports/athletes   32%   Women’s sports/athletes   46%
     Men’s sports/athletes                40%              Men’s sports/athletes     42%   Men’s sports/athletes     63%

     THE BIG DIFFERENCES IN FAVOR OF WOMEN’S SPORT….

     INSPIRING                                             PROGRESSIVE                     MONEY-DRIVEN
     Women’s sports/athletes              36%              Women’s sports/athletes   32%   Women’s sports/athletes   7%
     Men’s sports/athletes                26%              Men’s sports/athletes     17%   Men’s sports/athletes     39%

     FAMILY-ORIENTED                                       CLEAN
     Women’s sports/athletes              25%              Women’s sports/athletes   26%
     Men’s sports/athletes                13%              Men’s sports/athletes     8%

     Source: Nielsen Sports Women’s Sports research 2018

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WHAT WOMEN AND MEN
                                         THINK OF WOMEN’S SPORTS
                                           Women’s sports                                                         48%
                                           are competitive                                                      44%

                                           Women’s sports                                                   41%
                                             are inspiring                                         31%

                                           Women’s sports                                             37%
                                               are skilled                                          34%

                                           Women’s sports                                           33%
                                           are progressive                                         31%

                                                                     FEMALE                              MALE

                                             Source: Nielsen Sports Women’s Sports research 2018

Copyright © 2018 The Nielsen Company (US), LLC. Confidential and proprietary. Do not distribute.
                                                                                                                        23
24
WORLD SURF LEAGUE:
                                       RIDING THE CREST OF A WAVE
                                       The World Surf League is the organizer of the annual tour of professional
                                       surfing competitions. In September it announced that it will offer equal
                                       prize money to men and women beginning in 2019. As CEO Sophie
                                       Goldschmidt explains, it’s a first for a US-based global sports league.

                                       How has women’s surfing developed over the last few years in
                                       commercial terms?
                                       We’re very fortunate in the group of women surfers on tour right now and
                                       certainly benefit from the trails blazed by those who came before them.
                                       Superstars like Stephanie Gilmore, Lakey Peterson, Carissa Moore, Tyler
                                       Wright and others earn considerable endorsements and inspire millions
                                       around the globe. The women’s Championship Tour has benefitted from an
                                       influx of non-endemic partners in recent years such as Target, Swatch, Jeep,
                                       Airbnb, Samsung and others to combine with our long-standing supporters
                                       such as Rip Curl, Hurley, Billabong and Roxy. This has allowed the WSL to
                                       create a fantastic platform for the world’s best women surfers with events
                                       in Australia, Indonesia, South Africa, North America, Europe and Hawaii.

                                       How closely do you as a rights holder work with your top female
                                       athletes to boost their commercial profile and image?
                                       Surfing is a sport and culture driven by the surfers themselves, and we
                                       maintain very close relationships with our athletes as we continue to evolve
                                       the WSL. We work closely with our surfers on content, branding, PR and
                                       the distribution of their personal and professional message across a global
                                       digital platform. Just this year we instigated a global city media tour for our
                                       female surfers, elevating their profiles into the mainstream consciousness.

Copyright © 2018 The Nielsen Company (US), LLC. Confidential and proprietary. Do not distribute.
                                                                                                                         25
You’ve just announced equal prize money for 2019 – how big a step
     is that for WSL?
     It’s a significant step, and one the organization has been working toward for several
     years now. We believe we have some of the most talented and inspirational athletes,
     men and women, on the planet and believe they deserve to be paid the same. As the
     first US-based global sports league in the world to do this, this got enormous publicity,
     and we hope that it inspires positive change in society.

     What role does WSL see itself having in the development of more young
     female surfers, and how important is the inclusion of surfing on the
     Olympic program in accelerating that?
     We’re seeing more and more young female surfers take up the sport around the world
     every year, inspired by the world-class surfers on the WSL Championship Tour and by
     those who lead the way for previous generations. It’s incredible to witness. A key priority
     for the organization in the years ahead is telling these stories to the largest audience
     possible – the Olympics creates an important platform for this storytelling. We will also
     roll out a worldwide beachside engagement program for girls that offers clinics at each
     women’s Championship Tour stop to inspire the next generation to take to the surf.

      WOMEN AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES
      Women’s participation at the Summer Olympic Games has proportionally
      increased at each edition of the event from 1948 onwards according to
      research carried out by Gracenote. Just over 45% of the competitors at
      the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro were women, nearly double
      the proportion of women who competed at the 1984 Summer Olympics
      in Los Angeles.

      Women have been a part of the Olympic movement since the second
      modern Olympic Games were held in Paris in 1900. Twenty-two women
      participated that year, making up 1.8% of the total participants in a
      field of just over 1200.

      In 1991, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decreed that all new
      Olympic sports had to include women’s events as well as men’s. Since then
      the percentage of women participating has increased from around
      26% (1988) to 45% two years ago.

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PARTICIPANTS AT SUMMER OLYMPICS 1984 – 2016

                                                                   % Women

                          1984                                     23%
                          1988                                          26%
                          1992                                                29%
                          1996                                                        34%
                          2000                                                                 38%
                          2004                                                                     41%
                          2008                                                                      42%
                          2012                                                                           44%
                          2016                                                                             45%

                                    Source: Gracenote*

                                    *Gracenote, a Nielsen Company, provides music, video and sports metadata and technology to the
                                    world’s hottest entertainment products, services and brands. The Gracenote Sports team captures,
                                    curates and distributes in-depth sports data, including live scores, play-by-play stats and results, for
                                    more than 4,500 leagues and global competitions, including FIFA World Cup, the Olympics, English
                                    Premier League and North American leagues such as the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL. All of this
                                    information is used by the biggest media companies and major sports organizations to keep
                                    fans engaged with their favorite players and teams across the Web, mobile and pay-TV platforms.
                                    For more information, visit www.gracenote.com.

Copyright © 2018 The Nielsen Company (US), LLC. Confidential and proprietary. Do not distribute.
                                                                                                                                               27
AIG’S DIVERSITY IS STRENGTH CAMPAIGN

                               The Black Ferns perform the haka prior to the International Test match between the New Zealand Black Ferns and the
                               Australia Wallaroos at Eden Park on August 25, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

      Global insurance giant AIG’s Japanese division launched the Diversity is Strength campaign as part of the
      company’s dual sponsorship of the men’s and women’s New Zealand national rugby union teams, the
      All Blacks and the Black Ferns. The campaign was focused around “raising awareness of a range of topics
      including cultural diversity, gender diversity, disability inclusion, and sexual diversity.” AIG Japan produced
      a series of films, which were promoted across the major social platforms using the #DiversityIsStrength
      hashtag. Nielsen research showed the highest concentration posts were in Japan and New Zealand, with
      the potential reach on Twitter hitting over 12 million; sentiment was 40% positive and 60% neutral,
      extremely high figures – 10% is the average for positive sentiment. AIG’s Director, Global Sponsorship
      Amy McNichol said: “AIG strives to positively contribute to the communities in which we operate for
      our colleagues and consumers. This powerful piece of content is a step toward tackling discrimination
      and starting conversations to actively address key social issues. The feedback received has been
      overwhelmingly positive, including from our partner New Zealand Rugby who fully supported this
      campaign. We were so pleased to receive Billie Jean King’s acknowledgement amongst others. And
      importantly colleagues around the world have been asking for ways to get involved and we’ve
      experienced a surge of pride in the brand.”

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THE BIGGER PICTURE
                            As women's sports leagues and teams look to further establish themselves, attract fans and
                            generate more commercial momentum at an elite level, there is also an understandable
                            desire to promote and increase participation at the grassroots. For brands, women’s sport
                            can present a chance to engage fully with all aspects of a sport and play an integral part of a
                            sport’s development from the ground up. Wider societal issues around diversity and equality
                            are also playing into women’s sports investment decisions, while certain sports are further
                            along the commercial journey when it comes to commercializing; there are undervalued
                            assets in the marketplace and there are also more assets available in a comparatively unclut-
                            tered market at a cheaper price.

                            WOMEN’S SPORTS SPONSORSHIP GROWTH

                                   37%
                                                             increase in annual number of women’s
                                                             sports sponsorship deals announced
                                                             between 2013 and 2017

                                  49%                        increase in average monetary size of
                                                             deal between 2013 and 2017

                               Of women’s sports sponsorship, the number of deals completed
                               by clubs, federations, and teams has increased

                               2013                            7%
                               2017                                                            19%

                               Source: Nielsen Sports Sponsorglobe

Copyright © 2018 The Nielsen Company (US), LLC. Confidential and proprietary. Do not distribute.
                                                                                                                              29
HOW TO GET MORE DATA, INSIGHTS AND ADVICE
     ON WOMEN’S PROFESSIONAL SPORTS
     The following summary outlines the key topics covered by the Nielsen Sports research into women’s sports. This report
     offers a flavor of how consumers and fans are engaging with women’s sports in eight key markets around the world,
     crucial insights for rights holders, brands, broadcasters and any other stakeholder involved in the commercialization
     of women’s sports.

     Nielsen conducts extensive qualitative and quantitative research relating to women’s professional sports across the
     world and works directly with large numbers of sports organizations and brands active in this space. We have local
     offices in more than 100 countries, with sports and sponsorship specialists in hubs in San Francisco, New York, Chicago,
     Mexico City, London, Brussels, Amsterdam, Paris, Cologne, Milan, Barcelona, Madrid, Moscow, Istanbul, Johannesburg,
     Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul. As well as helping with customized
     research and consultancy projects on this topic, we can also license access to our extensive syndicated data, including...

     SCREENING: RESPONDENT DEMOGRAPHICS                           WOMEN’S SPORTS CONSUMPTION
     • Age & Gender                                               • Use of media devices / platforms for news & information

     • Occupation                                                 • Most engaging social media platform

     • Children in Household                                      • TV subscription packages in the household

     • Household Income                                           • Appetite for online subscription to view women’s sports

     • Main Shopper                                               • Price bracket willing to pay for online subscription

     GENERAL TOPIC INTEREST                                       PARTICIPATION
     Deduces levels of interest in wider topic                    • Current levels of participation in organized sports or
     areas such as:                                                 physical activity each week
     • Arts and culture                                           • Sports / activities currently participated in
     • Music                                                      • Life stage when participation in sports ended
     • Travel
     • Film
     • Technology                                                 SPONSORSHIP / BRAND METRICS & CATEGORY PROPENSITY
                                                                  • Impact of general sports sponsorship on a brand / company
                                                                  • Impact of women’s sports sponsorship on a brand / company
     WOMEN’S SPORTS INTEREST                                        i.e., on influence and consideration
     • Interest in sports
                                                                  • Unprompted awareness of brands currently sponsoring
     • Awareness of sports competitions
                                                                    women’s sports
     • Interest in sports competitions
                                                                  • Prompted awareness of brands currently sponsoring
     • Following of sport competitions
                                                                    women’s sports
     • Elements followed (i.e., men’s, women’s or both)
                                                                  • Likelihood to buy products in the next 12 months
     • Source of interest for women’s sports
                                                                  • Likelihood to use services in the next 12 months
     • Women’s sport attendance and its drivers
     • Barriers to followership for women’s sports

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For more information, please contact

                                        ABOUT NIELSEN
                                        Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data
                                        analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted
                                        view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Our approach
                                        marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help
                                        clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s
                                        happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge. For more
                                        than 90 years Nielsen has provided data and analytics based on
                                        scientific rigor and innovation, continually developing new ways to
                                        answer the most important questions facing the media, advertising,
                                        retail and fast-moving consumer goods industries. An S&P 500
                                        company, Nielsen has operations in over 100 countries, covering more
                                        than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit www.
                                        nielsen.com.

Copyright © 2018 The Nielsen Company (US), LLC. Confidential and proprietary. Do not distribute.
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